Self love may be the buzzword of the moment, yet it can be difficult to know what it means, how to embrace it and when to incorporate it into your daily routine.
Popular opinion may lead people to believe that self love is all about having a long soak in a bubble bath with tealight candles. And while there is an element of truth to this, such as following simple self care practices, it’s not the full extent of what self love is – or is capable of doing to help you transform yourself and your reality.
What Does Self Love Mean?
At its core, self love is about caring for and prioritising your own needs first. It’s about bringing self awareness to your thoughts, feelings and emotions so as to find peace with yourself in the present moment. It might mean accepting things as they are – including people, places and events – for how they have shown themselves to be.
Self love is the practice of listening to your inner thoughts, emotions, needs and desires – and continually checking in with yourself that you are content with where you are, along with how things are going in your life. It might mean reflecting upon the areas of your life where improvements can be made, along with the necessary steps to get there. This might also involve self-enquiry to your own behaviours and why certain events have transpired as they have, along with your role in them.
Ultimately though, self love is about giving yourself compassion and respect for who you are. It’s knowing you are worthy and deserving of good things in life – and focussing on building healthy self-esteem by fostering a healthy attitude towards both respecting yourself and life.
1. Nurture Your Self Development
Focus on your needs. Otherwise known as ‘working on yourself’, Self love begins the moment you turn inwards and start to bring self-awareness to your goals. Challenging those old assumptions and limitations we may have imposed on ourselves from others. It might mean reflecting upon our present needs – and trusting that who we are becoming will light the way for our own success, and that of others.
Self development might mean attending that mindfulness workshop, booking yourself on a yoga retreat, or committing to showing up at a supportive circle, so as to receive clarity and new awareness about the goals you need to focus upon to move forward in an area of your life you may have previously been struggling with.
2. Journal Daily
One of the most powerful and simple tools you can use to bring an element of personal reflection into your life, is to journal your thoughts, feelings or even your dreams on a daily basis. This may help you to gain clarity on a situation, allowing you to see a clear pathway forward. Research shows that manual writing with a pen for example, can help you to connect your mind and heart space. Sometimes we need to create this self-reflection and writing can help us to develop a stronger somatic (mind-body) connection with ourselves. Journalling can be an excellent tool to help us achieve this too.
3. Practice Living In Compassion
Bringing more compassion to yourself, is the essential first step. You also need to learn to forgive your past mistakes. Then imagine extending your compassion out to others – allowing others to share from and live in this same freedom and peaceful energy.
A beautiful way to give yourself more compassion is to close your eyes and gently take a few deep breaths. Imagining a circle of pink light emanating from your heart space – enveloping you in its safe, warm energy. Slowly extend this pink light out, so it’s covering your entire body – allowing it to extend even further now – out to the corners of the room. Wrapping everything in a softness, a gorgeous glow of peace and love. You can take this exercise even further and imagine this soft pink cloud wrapping around the world – transforming the space with its wonderful, healing energy. Stay here for a few minutes, giving yourself compassion and peace.
The more you can get still with yourself and focus on this visualisation, the easier it will be to feel compassion and to resonate with and live in this frequency.
4. Be Kind
Feeling compassion also extends to acts of kindness – and giving this out into the world. Acts of kindness may mean helping out at your local food bank, volunteering your time and ears at the local Samaritans helpline, listening and supporting others. Or it could mean picking up the phone and checking in on a friend. Kindness comes in many forms and it’s up to you to decide how you will choose to show up and extend your compassion into acts of doing – and serving others in ways that create real change and transformation in the world.
5. Create Something New
One of the biggest ways we can show up for ourselves is to choose to nurture our unique gifts and talents. When we create something new – we are consciously extending ourselves out into – and connecting with the Universe. In doing this, we can begin to create and recreate our realities. You might have a natural gift as an artist, or have a passion for writing stories.
A major part of being human is about sharing our experiences, inspiring others – and showing up as who we are so that others can feel free to be themselves too. When you choose to stand in your authentic self, you open up and make it safe for others to do the same too.
Remember, by focusing on these self love habits, you can begin to practice and make them a part of your daily routine. And this is where the true transformation begins.